Massive, obese, bloated, gigantic, all ways to describe the titanic mass of flesh that is the Kissing toad, and all are understatements. A sharp, purple-blue in color, the giant of a amphibian almost totally blends in with the marble in it’s half-submerged cavern under Vionoi, and could easily do so entirely were it not for the creature’s bulging, milky-white eyes.
No one is sure of just how old the toad is, or whether or not multiple toads exist. Tales of the beast date back to the time of Arash, long before the founding of the Tale Empire. Regarded as a prophet of Viova, the Kissing toad was said to be found at the site where Vionoi, and thus, the toad itself, are now. Several passages from the Ouryitzan claim that the toad was the sign Viova set for the build, and are as follows:
“...when you come to the place of blue waters and blue rock, you will a find a toad, who will convey to the people of the world my word, and there you shall build a city in the image of my palace…”
The Kissing toad secretes a powerful hallucinogen from its pudgy, bloated lips, that will quickly enter the bloodstream from any prolonged contact with it, such as a kiss. The hallucinations that this produces are often related to Viova and his associated domains, and it is customary for pilgrims that travel to Vionoi to kiss the toad on their last day there.
An oracle and caretaker of the toad (always female, and often an oblate from a noble family,) resides in the Kissing toad’s pit, and it is her job to coax the creature out for pilgrims, and often to interpret thei visions. During a crisis, an oracle may spend prolonged periods with the toad, emerging weeks later with a solution. Once they have been claimed as an oracle, a young woman may never go farther than the antechamber in front of the toads cave, and many have poor eyesight because of the lack of light stimulating their retinae.
The body of an oracle has never been found, and some scholars hypothesize that the toad eats their corpse upon their deaths. Others claim that an oracle is turned into another toad, and the one they took care of joins Viova in his palace. Some extremists believe that the toad has sex with the oracles, and she goes on to lay a single egg (the next toad) before being either devoured by its father or dissappearing from the mortal realm entirely, though they are usually proclaimed heretics, and few live long.
1. The Hotfoot clan makes an attempt at the toad’s life, hoping to throw Tale and Kalmshan into a brutal religious war over who killed it.
2. An oracle of the toad appears before the PCs, and tells them that the toad tried to kill her.
3. Scholars find that the toad’s cavern extends much deeper than they thought, and there are in fact a whole community of the kissing toads and other subterranean creatures. The PCs are drafted to explore the complex and find where it leads.
4. Someone has stolen the toad and oracle, digging up from below the cavern and dragging them down in to the bowels of the earth, but who?